Copyright Sendyne Corp., 2010-2019. All rights reserved (LICENSE).


cppreg is a header-only C++11 library to facilitate the manipulation of MMIO registers (i.e., memory-mapped I/O registers) in embedded devices. The idea is to provide a way to write expressive code and minimize the likelihood of ill-defined expressions when dealing with hardware registers on a MCU. The current features are:

For a short introduction and how-to see the quick start guide. A more complete and detailed documentation is available here.

The features provided by cppreg come with no overhead or performance penalty compared to traditional low-level C approaches. We give here an example comparing the assembly generated by a CMSIS-like implementation versus a cppreg-based one.


cppreg is designed to be usable on virtually any hardware that satisfies the following requirements:

GCC (4.8 and above) and Clang (3.3 and above) are supported and it is expected that any other C++11-compliant compiler should work (see the quick start guide for recommended compiler settings).


This project started when looking at this type of C code:

// Now we enable the PLL as source for MCGCLKOUT.
MCG->C6 |= (1u << MCG_C6_PLLS_SHIFT);

// Wait for the MCG to use the PLL as source clock.
while ((MCG->S & MCG_S_PLLST_MASK) == 0)

This piece of code is part of the clock setup on a flavor of the K64F MCU. MCG is a peripheral and MCG->C6 and MCG->S are registers containing some fields which are required to be set to specific values to properly clock the MCU. Some of the issues with such code are:

This does not have to be this way, and C++11 brings a lot of features and concepts that make it possible to achieve the same goal while clearly expressing the intent and being aware of any ill-formed instructions. Some will argue this will come at the cost of a massive performance hit, but this is actually not always the case (and more often than not, a C++ implementation can be very efficient; see Ken Smith paper and the example below).

This project has been inspired by the following previous works: